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10 Absurd Reasons My Toddler is Freaking Out

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My toddler is generally a well-behaved, albeit rambunctious little boy. But man, there are certain things that just always seem to instantly set him off. For the most part, I really don’t get why these things bug him so much, and most of them are pretty much unavoidable. In no particular order, here are the top 10 things that are pretty much guaranteed to induce a tantrum. 

1. Wearing a coat

What’s the deal with not wanting to be warm? My son would rather let the cold air and wind whip against his face and body than subject himself to the horror that is getting his hands into his coat sleeves and putting up his hood. The other day was particularly disastrous, when my son’s hands momentarily got lost in the sleeve cuffs and he immediately started shrieking, “I don’t want to be stuck, I don’t want to be stuck!”

Another time we found ourselves in a full-fledged wrestle as I attempted to secure his hood via the snaps under his chin. In our struggle, I accidentally pinched a bit of his skin–not enough to make it bleed, but enough to ensure that going forward, any attempt on my part to fasten his hood would be met with frantic refusal.

2. Taking a bath

You’d think he’d be used to it by now, but no–getting water splashed anywhere near the vicinity of his head is enough to agitate my son to the point of full-fledged screaming. And the ironic thing? Swimming pools are fine. Baths are not.

3. Getting his feet measured

I dread trips to the shoe store more so than I do vaccine appointments. My son acts as though the device used to measure feet was designed to do nothing but inflict torture. Buying new shoes is a complete ordeal, so much so that the last few times I’ve brought along reinforcement (my mom, my husband, etc.) for fear that I actually wouldn’t be able to contain my son long enough to let the poor shoe store employees get an accurate measure (and given the cost of kids’ shoes, I’m not willing to just wing it).

4. Having his nose wiped

I know a lot of young kids don’t like this, but why? Dripping snot can’t be pleasant. All I’m trying to do is scoop it up.

5. Getting his tush cleaned

My son is OK with wet diaper changes, but when it comes to tush cleanup following a #2 situation, there’s almost always squirming and kicking involved. And every time that happens, I just want to scream “What the *&#*?” I mean, I can sort of try to figure out the shoe thing–maybe he thinks there’s no upside to cooperating. But there’s no way you’re going to convince me that walking around with a butt full of poop is in any way comfortable.

During a recent incident, my son decided to try slapping my hands away in an attempt to make the tush cleaning stop. In the process, he of course got his hands filthy, and before I could even grab for the sanitizer, he had managed to smear the stuff all over his shirt, face, and hair. That resulted in an immediate strip-down and impromptu bath which, naturally, sparked a secondary fit (see #2 above).

6. The telephone

It’s not the phone itself that bugs him so much as my need to answer it when it rings. Even if we’re not in the middle of something, the second I dare speak to another human who isn’t in the room, my son makes his disapproval very obvious, usually in the form of yanking at my clothing and attempting to wrangle the phone out of my hand.

The worst, however, is when we’re driving somewhere and a call comes in over the Bluetooth. This happened last month, when my doctor called me with some blood test results.

She was going over my numbers when my son started yelling, “Stop talking to my mommy,” at the top of his lungs, repeatedly.

Of course, the call was on speaker, so my doctor not only heard every word, but was kind enough to attempt to talk over his screams – only the louder she got, the louder he got, until finally she shouted something along the lines of, “I’ll just email you a copy of your report and you can call me if you have questions,” and hung up before I could even answer. (For the record, I don’t blame her one bit.)

7. Being strapped in a carseat

OK, I can sort of understand this one. I mean, what little kid wouldn’t prefer the freedom of being unrestrained while in transit? But come on–we drive somewhere pretty much every single day. You’d think the child would be used to it by now.

8. Riding in a shopping cart

Personally, I’d love for someone to push me around the supermarket while I sit and relax. I get that he’d rather have the freedom to walk (or run) around the store, but really, what’s the problem with taking a load off?

9. The vacuum cleaner

Yes, it’s loud. So is every single toy my son owns. Please explain to me why it’s okay to crash a series of wailing, beeping, siren-blaring trucks at full speed into the door, but it’s not okay to hear a vacuum cleaner going off on the other side of the house.

10. Getting his nails clipped

OK, perhaps it’s not so much fun sitting still while your nails are clipped, but throw me a bone here–the whole process takes less than three minutes, and it’s something we do every other week on average. In other words, not at all a big deal.

I’m sure I’m not the only mom whose child has these crazy triggers. What sort of random things set your child off?

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